The children playing in the yard are an indication that the writer wishes to return to some aspect of his youthful innocence. The approaching snake signifies an anxiety for the writer, and symbolises the male genitalia in its flaccid state; while the dog is a symbol of the writer’s animalistic nature. Note how this nature is first chained up (repressed) but becomes ungovernable and escapes its bonds. The snake penetrating deep under the house is, it need hardly be said, a representation of sexual intercourse. The floods that the main character recalls represent female sexual arousal, the bushfires are analogous to sexual passion, while the drought expresses a deep-seated anxiety about the result of this passion. The woman beating the snake is a blatant symbol of castration – or possibly masturbation – and the snake being thrown on the fire is significant as it demonstrates the writer’s fear of impotence: the snake shrivelling into nothing. The sunrise at the end of the story, engorged and pink, perhaps suggests the beginning of a new relationship, and a period of refreshment and renewal for the writer. Or more probably, it represents a penis.
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